When you travel abroad long term or move to another country for good, one thing that you might be worried about is receiving your important mail where you are.
You don’t want to miss out on or lose important letters, documents, and forms that you need even though you are far away. Fortunately, there are companies out there that understand this need and help to make US mail delivery possible for you when you are away.
Travelers and expats will be happy to learn that it’s possible to forward mail in the US to themselves in another country. This makes many things easier for these adventurous folks. When you use an international mail forwarding service, you can have peace of mind about your mail, knowing that you were able to receive or at least view everything sent to you through the postal service.
Read on to learn about three great options for people living or traveling abroad when it comes to mail.
No matter what route you choose for mail forwarding, the first thing you should do is convert as much of your mail as possible to digital form. You should cancel paper versions of bank statements and bills and instead access these online. Encourage your friends and family to send you emails instead of letters and cards.
If you have time before you depart, it can help to manually opt-out of mailings that you don’t need or that do not interest you. The best way to do this is by calling each of the vendors that send you unneeded mail. This can be a tedious process, but it will be worth it in the end.
Once you have reduced your mail by a significant amount using these suggestions, you can move forward on figuring out how to forward the rest of it.
Options to Forward Mail in the US to Yourself Abroad
There are several options available to you when it comes to forwarding your mail when you are traveling or living in another country. Each of these options has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
1. Enlist the Help of Friends & Family
Your first option for dealing with your mail while living abroad doesn’t even involve using an outside company. Many expats and long-term travelers look to friends living in the United States for help in this realm. This is one of the most simple solutions to this issue, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best.
Using this method to forward mail in the US to yourself in another country is your least expensive option, but you will have to depend on the people you enlist for help. At first, they may be very responsive, but in time, it may take longer and longer to receive your mail.
You will need to trust your friends and family to determine which pieces of mail are most important and need to be sent out fast. They may miss some important things or they may forget to send some of the most important items altogether. Also, for the best and most affordable results, they will need to open your mail so they can throw out the excess pages; do you really want them seeing your credit card bills and other financial documents?
2. Mail Forwarding Service
Mail forwarding services are another option. Depending on the company you use, the services offered may differ. Some companies simply collect all of your mail and send it to you in a big box every so often. This can be wonderful because you can go through your mail yourself; however, if you get a lot of junk mail, the weight can add up fast and this service can be more costly than you might like.
Other mail forwarding services alert you when you receive mail, scan the envelope, and send you a picture of it. Then you can decide if you want them to send it along to you or not. The items that you decline will be shredded and disposed of, and they will never pass through your hands.
3. Mail Scanning Service
If you don’t need to receive any physical mail at all, or if you are moving or traveling abroad so frequently that you cannot accept mail at any physical address, a service that scans all of your mail might be best. Rather than send the items to you that you wish to read, these services will open the mail and scan each page for you, and then they will send the scans to you in digital format. At OPAS, we will upload the scans to your member account and a notification will be sent to you to log in and view the documents.
If you don’t often receive mail that requires a physical signature or another personalized reply, this might be a good choice for you. Many people who are digital nomads or wandering expats find this to be the best solution for their situations.
These services usually scan the first page of your correspondence first and email it to you to find out if you wish to see the rest of it or not. That way, they aren’t wasting their time and your money scanning every single thing that arrives at their location in the United States.
When using one of these services, you will be able to read your mail much more quickly than if it is sent to you by plane and local mail, too.
Happy, Safe, and Stress-Free Travels
No matter which of the above options appeals to you, you now know how to forward mail in the US to yourself abroad, so you are likely feeling much better about your concerns in this area. Thanks to technology and services that make this process easier, there are thousands of people living, working, and traveling abroad who are able to access their mail while they are away. This offers immense peace of mind for these people, and soon, you will be among them too.
If you are interested in mail forwarding services while you are abroad, please contact us today. We are excited to help you and we are happy to answer any questions you may have about the services that we offer. Safe travels!